Unfortunately, due to the interchangeable use of the words “sports drinks”, and “energy drinks”, these young consumers are exposing themselves to the adverse effects of overindulging in the latter. In addition, the lax regulatory policies also make it easier for younger consumers to access energy drinks. In response, some institutions have called for stringent regulations that prohibit the sale of such products in schools. Discussed below are the health risks and perceived benefits associated with intake of energy drinks.
One of the main ingredients used to make energy drinks is caffeine. Caffeine is a highly addictive substance; as such, its use in the manufacturing of any food or beverage is likely to result in users’ addiction to the consumed substances. There are two major categories of energy drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic energy drinks. A high percentage of consumers of energy drinks are unaware of the adverse health risks associated with the consumption of non-alcoholic energy drinks, as they operate under the assumption that the alternative form (alcoholic energy drinks) poses a greater danger. Research by various scholars contradicts this assumption stating,”…caffeine’s neuropharmacology effects might play a role in the propensity for addiction” (Arria & O’Brien 2012, p.601). Reissig et al. (2009, p. 4-6) postulate that lack of regulatory oversight resulting from lax regulatory requirements especially in countries such as the US increases children and adolescents’ vulnerability to developing caffeine related disorders, which include caffeine intoxication.